The Vice President, Relations is accountable for developing and implementing strategies that grow and retain membership while getting them engaged and increasing that engagement in our programs, services and other activities that deliver value to the member and drive revenue for the association. In addition, ensuring that our members receive great service and we capture and leverage data and insights about our members to help us deliver more successful outcomes.
This person will lead the Relations team and be responsible for keeping staff directed, motivated, and focused on growing, serving, and retaining SFA members and delivering on revenue objectives. Additionally, they will provide oversight and engage with and in some cases lead member volunteer groups that meet quarterly. They will foster relationships with other key industry organizations to develop alliances and partnership opportunities to grow membership, deliver member value and in grow revenue.
Essential Functions & Responsibilities:
The Relations team are the staff members that have their finger on the pulse of the membership. They are the group that loves building relationships and engaging with potential and current SFA members along with other key industry organizations to create awareness about the value the SFA delivers to encourage member engagement with what we offer.
Membership engagement – develop strategies to get our members engaged with the programs and services we offer such as the Fancy Food Shows, education programs, sofi Award and other activities that drive revenue for the SFA and deliver value to the members. This team sells exhibit space, sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
Membership growth – develop a strategy for the team to identify, engage and bring new SFA members into the organization. Members include makers, buyers, brokers, distributors importers, and affiliates. Both domestic and international opportunities.
Membership retention – develop a strategy for the team to ensure that members stay engaged throughout the year and see the value we deliver when it comes time for dues renewal. Should apply a blend of data-driven insights along with relational insights to help retain members.
Member service – ensure that every touchpoint with a member leaves the member walking away feeling good about being part of the SFA. Taking care of our members and making them feel important and listened to is critical.
Revenue growth – beyond member engagement, there are opportunities for the Director of Strategic Relationships to deliver non-member revenue to the organization by going after organizations that want exposure and access to our community. Organizations could include but are not limited to FedEx, Zip Recruiter, Indeed, etc.
Reporting & Analysis – this role requires someone that is tech savvy and that can dig into our systems to ensure that the team is capturing accurate and updated member data, engagement data and other important information that can be reported on to understand how the team is performing across all areas listed above – growth, retention, engagement, revenue, service, etc.
This role needs to be a relationship builder – with members, with staff and with other industry organizations that could be a source of additional value for members or a source of new members for the SFA.
This role will need to harness the insights from the team and work with the VP of Resource Development to ensure that team can understand how to develop new benefits to serve member needs.
Must have experience working in a membership organization with accountability for membership and trade show sales. Experience or understanding of the food industry is important.
Grow and diversify the revenue portfolio while increasing the membership and harnessing strong member engagement.
Design key membership initiatives that will drive best in class customer service, ongoing engagement, member retention, and growth.
Lead the Association’s efforts to analyze member engagement and lead the strategy to get members more engaged with the SFA.
Work closely with the Marketing and Communication team to develop a multi-faceted communication strategy (i.e., telephone, face-to-face meetings, direct mail, e-mail, online and other social media) that is targeted to sell programs, products, and member benefits.
Effectively manage the day-to-day operations of the Relations department, including collaboration, mentorship, and staff guidance.
Regularly review membership structure and engagement approaches to maximize member value, member engagement, benefits, and revenue.
Stay abreast of industry trends and elevate discussions on the evolution of product/service portfolio to ensure alignment with member needs.
Cultivate and maintain relationships with other associations to promote partnerships to achieve mutual benefits.
Member Volunteer Groups
Oversee some committees and Industry Working Groups (IWGs) and support the development and implementation of their programming related to selected strategic initiatives.
Bachelor’s degree in business administration or related field
15+ years of experience in non-profit association management, including responsibilities for oversight of membership development, volunteer groups, trade shows, sales, customer service.
Strong leadership and relationship building skills, with a well-developed network of contacts and demonstrated influence in the industry.
An experienced relationship builder that can foster collaborative relationships with multiple stakeholders.
Excellent public speaking skills; skilled listener.
Proficient with Microsoft Office Products, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Physical Demands & Work Environment:
The Association is headquartered in an office building in NYC, though the workforce is primarily home- based. This position is primarily remote but will require your presence in the office at various times. The Association will provide reasonable disability and/or religious accommodations to this policy in accordance with applicable law.
Regardless of location, job demands may require long periods of sitting; telephone work and/or computer work, as well as interactions with other staff members, external vendors and SFA external constituents.
There will be periodic travel required both to industry events and for team and department meetings. Occasional lifting of heavy boxes up to 40 pounds may be required, particularly around events.